Saturday, December 19, 2009


Travers on Canadian politics, circa 2009:
It's in Harper's interest to take to the streets a message shaped by control and insulated by secrecy. Beyond Parliament Hill there are fewer annoying questions, contrarian quibbles or suspicious fingers running down the ruling party's approved facts and figures.

Out there, where the undecided and skeptics are kept at arm's length, Ottawa's secrecy culture isn't a kitchen table worry. Out there it would be rude to ask when the buck last stopped at a minister, how civil servants became fall guys or how watchdogs lost their bark. Out there, if Conservatives have it figured right, the manipulation of an inconvenient Parliament will slide by with the same ease as the piece-by-piece deconstruction of democracy.
I would answer Travers by saying that a majority of Canadians are worried about Harper and his thugs. It is proven in poll after poll, where Conservatives never get more than roughly one third of the vote. However, thanks to the twin miracles of the first past the post electoral system and a seat distribution that favors the rural vote, a majority of voters means practically nothing. Our democracy is an illusion and Harper is merely a symptom of the system's diseased core.
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